French economy fails to grow for second quarter

The French economy failed to expand during the second quarter of this year after stalling in the first, missing analyst expectations, data from the French national statistics bureau Insee showed.

The figures make it unlikely France will post growth of 1 percent for 2014,

"It means probably growth for this year will be 0.5 percent, but even for 0.5(percent) we need a rebound in the third and fourth quarter," Philippe Waechter, head of economic research at Natixis Asset Management told CNBC.

Read More Euro zone GDP: Brace yourself

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast growth of 0.1 percent in the three months to June.

Read More Italy unexpectedly slides back into recession

French consumers were more optimistic, however, with household consumption up 0.5 percent after slipping 0.5 percent in the first quarter.

Output in manufactured goods tumbled 1 percent in the second quarter, down from 0.8 percent growth in the first quarter.

France and Germany are the first of several economies to publish gross domestic product figures Thursday before the figure for the whole of the euro zone is released later Thursday morning. Between them, they account for over half of euro zone economic output.

The French economy has fluctuated between contractions and slight growth every quarter over the last two years, scuttling President Francois Hollande's pledge to get unemployment to start falling.

Read More Euro zone business activity rebounds, France lags

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